First Published in the 01/05/17 newsletter.

We all have a stash of linework designs. Linework or backstitch or "redwork" is one of the most versatile style designs out there. You can easily use it on things like flour sack towels or things that require a light design. Using them on cardstock, paper, and toilet paper are another good use. Fleece lends a whole new dimension to them as well. But if you want to get really artistic you can paint them. Loads of fun and a great way to show off your artistic talent.

Choose a light color background, a fabric that is sturdy and usually 100% cotton works the best. Now grab some freezer paper, an iron, paper towels and Crayola crayons. The ones that are inexpensive have much less pigment in them and won't give you the deep rich colors so in this case spring for the name brand. Or try Water Color Pencils. These are not regular colored pencils, they need to say "watercolor" on them. Again, with these kinds of pencils spending a bit more gives you better, more true colors. They come in sets of 12, 24, 36 and some with 72 or more. Really good ones will run about a dollar a pencil. So you might want to start out small and build your pencil stash if you love this technique.

Prewash your fabric to remove any chemicals and sizing and do not use any fabric softener. It is important to prewash or your color will wash out with the sizing. Always cut your fabric about an inch or more larger than you want your finished piece to be. Embroider your design using a nice clean tearaway stabilizer (my favorite is E-Zee Tear 1.0 oz by Madeira). Remove from hoop and tear away all the stabilizer. Now press your fabric from back to remove wrinkles. Take freezer paper and iron the shiny side to the back of your design making sure all wrinkles are out. (this step is not a must, but it makes it so much more stable and easier to color on the fabric).

Now color away. The darker you color the darker your end result will be. Try practicing with light colors and dark colors to find what you like best. Next, once you are done coloring the picture, you will need to use an iron to remove any wax and set the colors into the fabric. To do this take several layers of paper towels and lay them over the coloring, place a hot iron on the paper towels, (watching so you don't burn the paper) and after a few seconds lift the towels. You will see slight coloring on them. Continue with new towels until you don't see any traces of color. The paper towels and the heat will remove all the wax and set the color. You can safely wash the item after this. If the color is not what you are looking for, color it again and then again heat set it. You can do this over and over till you get the desired results.

If you are using the water color pencils, you can add small bits of water to "blend" out the colors from dark to light. So try coloring the outside of the petal with color and then use a "just damp" brush to blend into the rest of the petal. You can also experiment dipping the pencils in water to soften them and blend the color into the fabric. When you are finished with all your coloring you will need to SET your project so it can be washed. To do this you will remove the paper from the back and then use a hot iron set to cotton and press from the back into paper towels to protect your ironing board.

You can also use the Zig Fabricolor or the Fabrico Markers with the brush tips, be sure to heat set when finished as well. You can also use Shiva Paint Sticks and heat set them when finished.

Always TEST first then move on to your final project. While most people say you can machine wash your project, I would recommend hand washing in cold water. But by all means test your coloring skills by machine washing on your test pieces as machine washing would be so much easier right? Click the picture below to view some of our sponsors "watercolored" designs.

Lyn Christian ©A Design By Lyn
Creative Handmade Memories Inspired By Life

Below are the links to the Designs featured above:

A Designs by Lyn ~ Designed by Jane ~ Snow Lady Designs